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Home > News > PTI

UP: Zeenat Aman campaigns for Congress

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | April 25, 2007 01:24 IST

Leading Bollywood actress of the seventies-eighties Zeenat Aman left Lucknowites shocked on Tuesday when she flew in here to campaign for the Congress party -- barely a few days after she was holding a brief for dreaded gangster-turned-politician  D P Yadav, who had shot into larger infamy as father of Vikas Yadav, key accused in the sensational Nitish Katara murder case.

Significantly, it was none other than Congress president Sonia Gandhi's close confidante and Union Minister of State for Steel Akhilesh Das , who brought the now faded  Bollywood charm to boost the party's prospects at the current poll in the state capital , widely regarded as the political bastion of  Bhartiya Janata Party stalwart an former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Das was at his wit's end when a scribe confronted Zeenat with a query about her campaigning for D P Yadav.

"Well, Zeenat is not a Congress member; she is an actress and therefore free to campaign for anyone; she went to campaign for D P Yadav in her personal capacity, so it was not fair to ask her about that," pleaded Das after literally snatching the mike from the visibly embarrassed actress.

Cutting a rather sorry figure, she went on to sheepishly add, "Well, I have personal relations with D P Yadav and his family, so I went there."

Zeenat was accompanied by TV actor Arjun of Mahabharat fame , who had also campaigned not only for D P Yadav, but also for his wife Urmilesh. While Yadav was contesting for the Sehaswan seat in Budaun district, his wife Urmilesh Yadav who was in the fray from  the neighbouring Bisrauli constituency. Both the constituencies went to poll during the third phase of the staggered UP poll on April 18.

Significantly, addressing roadside rallies in Budaun last week, Zeenat, who was once  known for her stunning looks and western poise, was reported to have gone to the extent of describing D P Yadav as "...a well-meaning  human being who would take good care of the electorate."

Ironically, Yadav was being vehemently criticised by the Congress, whose leaders were busy exposing his long dossier that included charges of heinous crimes, including murder and kidnapping for ransom.

It was no surprise that Zeenat failed to draw crowds wherever she was driven around the city. "Congress was still living in gone by era of the seventies; that is why they could think of some like Zeenat Aman," quipped Siddharth, a third year University student while watching the actress's flop show.

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Shukla did choose a more contemporary heroine -  Celina Jaitley - to campaign for the party on Saturday. But the youth in Lucknow failed to see anything upmarket about her either.

"I wonder why Congress was looking for star value among those who had either outlived their worth or had simply failed to take off," quipped Abhijeet, a young management graduate.

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